Sumptuous Weekend Wine Brunch @ Amber Landmark Mandarin Oriental on 4Apr2015

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

wife booked 3pax weekend wine brunch at amber at landmark mandarin oriental on 4.4.2015.^^

amber has 2 michelin stars 6 years in a row & is the no.4 in asia & no.24 in pellegrino’s world’s top 50 restaurants.

this 1 of the places you have to leave credit card details and will be charged in full if you cancel within 48hrs. i am not sure if it is a new practice but we booked 2pax degustation dinner at joel robuchon maybe 4yrs ago & did not have to do that. & we had been to caprice at four seasons, and pierre at the other mandarin oriental and did not have to do that.

anyway we were happy to try out this place, and our faith were more than rewarded. this was simply the best meal we had in hong kong, not comparing joel robuchon’s degus dinner which cost more than twice this lunch.

baguette, olive & onion bread

baguette, olive & onion bread

after a very pleasant morning stroll along the peak circle walk taking in the hong kong skyline, we took a cab form the peak to landmark mandarin oriental which only cost us hk$55.

we started with a nice champagne.

the baguette and olive & onion bread from the bread basket were warm & very good, with both salted & unsalted butter.

6-course weekend wine brunch with 4 paragons of wine (champagne, 2 whites, 1 red)

6-course weekend wine brunch with 4 paragons of wine (champagne, 2 whites, 1 red)

weekend wine brunch was a 6-course (though that included cheese & 2 desserts) with selection of 4 wines at hk$888.

we found out that it was really an excellent deal even c/w weekday set lunches w/o the wine. so it was an excellent decision & wonderful lunch.

 foie gras lollipop

foie gras lollipop

squidink pita

squidink pita

squidink pita

squidink pita

we had 2 amuse bouche. both were good.

the foie gras lollipop in raspberry jelly had beetroot on one side & some crackers? on the other.

the squid ink pita was better, can’t remember maybe it was some cheese, anyway just remembered it was savoury & nice.^^

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig - very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig – very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig - very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig – very good

1st course was served with a riesling which i liked best of the 2 whites & champagne. all were nice anyway.

my son & i picked the foie gras terrine with suckling pig (interleaved) as our first course. it was very good, very flavourful & substantial.

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

wife picked the hokkaido sea urchin in lobster jelly with caviar topped with a gold leaf (which came with a hk$260 supplement). uni was sublime of course but the S$46+ supplement made no sense to us.

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

we all love uni of course, but we are not short of taking them, and we had whole tub of uni in japan for 1500yen (fukuoka recently) & lots of them at kuriya dining for the S$62 chirashi lunch with big serving of uni.

uni is uni. no culinary skill involved, is there?

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

second course was served with another white chardonnay.

for the second course, wife & i had the whole abalone that came with braised oxtail sauce & oxtail!

it was really well done. the abalone was so well braised or sous vide it was pure tender & the oxtail sauce was an excellent match. the 2 pieces of oxtail were also very tender & tasty & robust. wife loved this though for me, i still prefer the chinese or japanese braised abalone in brown sauce, and the chinese dry abalone over the japanese fresh ones.

son decided to venture a bit & took the battered frog legs. i tried a bit. I must say it was very good, enough for me to say that fie the choice of the whole abalone & the frog leg (it was a no brainer before), i am not sure i will automatically pick abalone every time. 🙂

#3 sole with mussels & razor clams

#3 sole with mussels & razor clams

the mains were served with a selection of red. we picked the spanish wine which was very good.

for the 3rd course, wife had the sole with mussels & razor clams. i think it was excellent, the best you could do with a fish. the sole was very tasty, tender and also firm in texture.

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

son & i had the pyrenes lamb shoulder. it was braised to perfection & smoked, very tender & smooth consistency w/o strong gamey taste. it was exquisite for a lamb shoulder.^^

#4 cheese platter - reblochon, comte & camembert (all 3 cheese were good, i like comte best, very tasty)

#4 cheese platter – reblochon, comte & camembert
(all 3 cheese were good, i like comte best, very tasty)

we had 2 plates of the cheese platter above for 3pax. it was lots of cheese. i liked all 3 cheese = reblochon, comte & camembert. i liked comte best, very flavourful almost like blue.

raspberry mousse + chestnut mousse on meringue with pear

chestnut mousse on meringue with pear+blackcurrent sorbet

we didn’t think much of the chestnut mousse on meringue, kind of sweet not accustomed to the taste! any sorbet, blackcurrent or otherwise, was good. 🙂

#6 raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse

#6 raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse

i liked the raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse much better.^^

flat white

flat white

we were served coffee & petite four to round of the lunch.

this was the best meal i had in hk, a very memorable one, and i will definitely come back again with my wife.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good 3pax Lunch @ Tess Bar & Kitchen on 13Mar2015

waldorf salad

waldorf salad

had lunch with 2 friends at tess bar & kitchen at 38 seah street last fri on 13.3.2015. 🙂

interior is a pleasant modern industrial chic design. tess is helmed by head chef martin wong, alumni of l’atelier of joel robuchon. ^^

there about 5 tables were occupied & only 1 server who was quite good overall though strangely she did not automatically serve us dessert & coffee when we finished food, and we waited a long time before asking her.

deep-fried belly pork

deep-fried belly pork

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

we ordered the deep-fried pork belly & sous vide baby octopus for starters to share. we had wanted to order the smoked duck & wagyu cubes we saw on other reviews, but they were not available for lunch.

octopus was excellent, very tender texture & nicely matched & flavoured with chorizo & sundries cherry tomatoes. ^^

pork belly was an ok bear finger food, but not comparable with the standard roast pork in most chinese restaurants like crystal jade, imperial treasure, tunglok & canton paradise.

tomato soup

tomato soup

since there were not many ala carte tapas orders, we decided to order the main courses, which also came with a choice of soup or salad, and a choice of dessert or coffee/tea.^^

1 friend had the tomato soup of the day. 2 of us had the waldorf salad.

salad was good, crunchy veg, & quite a few lovely cheese. tomato soup was good too. it was the standard restaurant fare, not my favourite.

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

2 of us decided to skip meat main dishes & ordered 2 pasta mains to share to share.

the tiger prawn linguine was good. prawns had the nice bbq flavour, & pasta was tasty with the sauce. ^^

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

my initial taste of the vongole was much less good. when i took it with a lot for sauce at the bottom of the plate, it was much better. there were a lot of clams. ^^

still it was nothing special c/w my own spicy vongole fettucine. even my helper can dish out something like this anytime. as for the prawn linguine, i guess my lobster angel hair pasta (if i used tiger prawns) or more recently my chilli crab angel hair pasta would be just as good or better. 🙂

lamb

lamb

lamb

lamb

another friend ordered the frenched lamb rack. i tried a small piece. it was good. well, i can do that too, but for now my repertoire is limited to pistachio crusted rack of lamb.^^

profitero

profitero

profitero

profitero

1 friend ordered the profiteros. 2 of us had regular coffee.

the lunch came to about S$120 or S$40pax nett. not too bad. food was pretty good restaurant standard if not overwhelming.

this a place i would come back to try out the other tapas dishes.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Walk Regent’s Canal, Primrose Hill & Regent Park on 24Aug2014

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regent’s canal from bridge along york way

this marks my last entry for the enjoyable time in london with my son 22aug to 27aug. we took easyjet to milan malpensa airport & took alibus to stresa at lake maggiore (a €12 55mins journey) on 28.8.2014. 🙂

we were staying at kings quarters apartment along copenhagen street, a short walk from york way & regent canal, which is right by king’s cross saint pancras station.

regent’s canal is 13.8km long linking paddington to limehouse basin in east london, running through the north end of regent’s park before the 78m primrose hill.  there is pleasure cruising & a regular waterbus service operating between Maida Vale and Camden, running hourly during the summer months.

with increase in cycle commuting  and increasing environmental awareness, the canal’s towpath has become a busy cycle route for commuters.

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regent’s canal from bridge along york way (evening)

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Arthouse apartment along york way, looking over regent’s canal

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king’s cross station from along regent canal access

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along regent’s canal outside central saint martins

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regent’s canal

we started from the terrace in front of central saint martins, university of arts london.

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regent’s canal

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regent’s canal

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camden lock

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camden lock

camden lock is located by the camden market. it allows the water crafts to traverse the canal across a change of water level.

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camden market refers to a number of adjoining large retail markets, including camden lock market & horse tunnel market (stables market).  it’s a treasure trove of new & old collectibles, arts & crafts, artefacts and daily use items.

gyros - greek kebab

gyros – greek kebab

we had a greek gyros (pronounced yee ro). it was really good for just £3, so much better & satisfying c/w the very poor £15.90+ cod fish & chips at poppies. my son ordered the chicken. i would have preferred lamb. still the chicken was very tasty & tender & the pita bread was good. even the potato chips were much better than poppies’. 🙂

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after an unfulfilled lunch at poppies, we walked along the canal & came to the signage showing the direction of primrose hill.

we came onto gloucester avenue & stopped for a cuppa at melrose & morgan. it was really good. my son though tit was better than monmouth, but he was probably just having coffee withdrawal. anyway coffee was good! 🙂

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

primrose hill sits north of regent’s park. it’s only 78m. weather was good today about 22degC & the children, frisbees, dogs were all out & enjoying the sun, breeze, green fields, wide expanse of sceneries or activities. there was a board showing the various buildings on the skyline, from BT Tower to the Shard to Canary Wharf. 🙂

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

after primrose hill, we walked through regent’s park, & took a bus back to our kings quarters apartment, had some nice nespresso, did some internet & then got ready for the pre-theatre dinner at joel robuchon. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ Joel Robuchon London on 24Aug2014

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

i had a very good lunch at gordon ramsey at the claridge’s brook street (now closed), & not so great dinner at marco pierre white in london in 2011. had yet to try joel robuchon. i had joel robuchon in hong kong both the set lunches menu decouvert at l’ artelier & dinner degustation at la cuisine. the set lunches were pretty good & reasonably priced. the degustation was good of course but too expensive for me.

wife & son had been talking about joel robuchon in london & paris, so we decided to go for a pre-theatre at joel robuchon london on 24.8.2014.

it was really good. 🙂

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket of baguette, olive bread, sour dough was ok for good restaurant standard.

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart was lovely. my son & i were talking about that this being an assembled dish, but still the presentation was great & all the ingredients came together beautifully. 🙂

crispy sous vide poached egg

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings was very good too. it’s a bit similar to the excellent 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo at jaan with the combination of taste & texture – the silky yoke & the salty bits of chorizo PLUS the crispy filo. this was good. jaan’s was much better.

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

#2 the open ravioli with littleneck clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam was again excellent. the shellfish, crispy top & foam was a wonderful combination. 🙂

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 the 6hr braised ox cheeks was very good in terms of taste & preparation, however just for comparison of braised items i think the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co was much tastier than this, so was the braised wagyu at hkk london & for my own taste preference = my own spanish beef ribs is also better (of course the meat cuts were different & we are not comparing apples with apples). 🙂

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

#3 the scottish lobster sea shell pasta, a substantial portion (i think 1/2 a 600g lobster), was tops! the foam & broth like a very good lobster bisque, and the lobster was very sweet & tasty. the pasta too. an excellent pasta dish! 🙂

the price for 3-course was £36 + 13% = S$73++ & there was a £7 supplement for the lobster. at S$73++ for a set lunch/pre theatre menu it was very much more expensive than the fabulous les amis S$45++ 4-course set lunch. both were excellent & JR was more inventive but quality+value wise, les amis would beat this hands down. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Lunch @ Lei Gardens(利苑) Mongkok on 13May2013

lobsters steamed with superior sauce (上汤局)

lobsters steamed with superior sauce (上汤局)

on the final day of our Hong Kong trip, we did not plan a restaurant to go to.

we first wanted to lunch at the seafood place Rainbow Restaurant at Lamma Island (南丫岛) after the excellent food pictures of mantis prawns, lobsters & what else in my friend’s Facebook set off our “tam chiak” (means greedy for food) cravings…alas we should have done that earlier as Rainbow was only open for dinner & we were taking the 8pm flight.

next we thought to go to Caprice @ Four Seasons, a 2 michelin star restaurant after looking at the online menu for Joel Robuchon, Pierre, Ember & Caprice set lunch. unfortunately Caprice was full for the Monday lunch.

we finally got Lei Gardens(利苑), which I always thought was among the best Hong Kong traditional chinese restaurants, especially their soup (例汤). the one nearest was at Tsai Yee Street洗衣街 ‎Mongkok outlet (as we were staying at Sam Shui Po) and that also happened to be the only 2 michelin star outlet (the other outlets were 1 michelin star). 🙂

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鲍汁凤爪 braised chicken feet in abalone sauce

CJ ordered 3 dimsum items. the first – 鲍汁凤爪 braised chicken feet in abalone sauce – was the best we had thus far c/w Timhowan添好运 & 迎.  the abalone sauce was similar to that for abalone & goose webs so it was very tasty. 🙂 I guess the preparation was different from the usual deep-fried then steamed with black beans chicken feet so may not be fair to compare.

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the soup (例汤) was good as expected,much better than Tao Heung 稻香 restaurants (which was also to be expected). however for this particular soup  it was no better than, & indeed not as good as, the many 例汤 I had at Imperial Treasure Nanbei (from green papaya to 鸡脚草). 🙂

小笼包

小笼包

the 小笼包 didn’t look that great, skin looked thick but actually it was very good, the sauce/soup was very sweet & the skin was normal thin. 🙂

2 small lobsters halved with golden mushrooms

2 small lobsters halved 上汤局 with golden mushrooms

JK was pining for lobsters so we ordered a HK$598 twin dishes combination (common in Hong Kong). the star dish was 2 small lobsters halved 上汤局 steamed in superior sauce with golden mushrooms – this was very good. 🙂

1/2 roast chicken - very crispy skin & tasty chicken

1/2 roast chicken – very crispy skin & tasty chicken

the 1/2 roast chicken had very crispy skin & was tasty so no need the usual 5-spice salt dip. in Hong Kong they called this the 龙凤 dragon phoenix pairing. 🙂

海斑 (garoupa) in claypot

海斑 (garoupa) in claypot

we had another HK$298 2-eats combination.   the 海斑 (garoupa) in claypot was also good tasting very flavourful. it was different preparation, not better than a steamed whole live garoupa but very good the way it was done. 🙂

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the other dish was a thick beehoon in seafood soup – no fish or seafood but very tasty like our good fish beehoon.

garlic heng chai

garlic heng chai

and in Hong Kong, always order vegetables. the garlic heng chai was very good & flavourful too. 🙂

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both JK & I were fan of 奶黄流沙包 custard egg bun. this was good, but I guess no better than Royal China or Imperial Treasure in Singapore.

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we had 3 dimsums & 6 dishes for HK$1320 for 4pax (about S$55nett per person). it was a premium to Tao Heung but for a great deal more satisfaction & “shiokness”.

c.h.e.f andy